Alongside the bee-loved plants, vegetables grow apace.
The Kings Seeds Florence Ribbed courgette is a stunner. Here are babies on some of my seedlings transplanted to a Lower Hutt garden.
And this is looking down into one of the four plantings in my back garden.
Some of the flowers are HUGE, but they don’t seem to attract bees. On the biggest plant, some courgettes rot at the ends as they grow. (When I harvest I slash off any rotten bits. And all the courgettes have been good to eat.)
The plants that travelled up the coast to Kapiti are doing the best of all. Look at this monster that grew there, over just a few days while the owners were away.
The two in the middle came from Kapiti, too, along with an excellent recipe for courgette and feta fritters. Those on the far right are the largest so far from my plantings here.
And, at last, I hung some tomato plants upside down, after transplanting them and keeping them ‘right’ way up for some days without watering, so they would establish their roots.
The bigger one, in the foreground, is a Cherokee Purple, the smaller a little rescue Black From Tula. I’m intrigued that both tomatoes are still trying to grow upwards. See how that stem curves in the middle, towards the top of the pic?
And the compost sure holds the water. When we first hung them up even though I didn’t water them, for DAYS water dripped out via the Black From Tula, which hangs a little lower. So I put a pot of marjoram underneath, to catch the drips.
The contrast with this lovely row is considerable, isn’t it?
But I’m doing my best. Learning heaps.
Meanwhile, out on the zigzag, more tomatoes, silver beet and the parsley are growing well. Though something’s nibbling at one of the silver beet plants. A slug? A snail? A bird?
Perhaps not snails. The other day, a guy leant on the rail above the cape gooseberries, next to the silver beet. He gazed at them for quite a while, without saying a thing.
Eventually I said–
‘Are you wondering what they are?’
‘No,’ he said. ‘They’re cape gooseberries. I had some and snails ate them.’
So I’ve decided that if snails aren’t eating these gooseberries, it’s unlikely they’re around to eat the silver beet, either.
Anyway, I hope that guy will return, to eat some cape gooseberries when they ripen.They’re flowering now. I don’t think they need bees for pollination.
And then, after claiming yesterday that the bumbles are interested only in lavender, poppies and borage, today I saw one dancing among these flowers. Nothing left in the poppies, it seemed, so she tried the yellow calendulas and the cornflowers on the right.